Questions

How do backups work in VISTA?

+
0 Votes
Locked

How do backups work in VISTA?

ngueyim
Hello every body,
Could some one please briefly explain me how does backup work in VISTA and how often it is advisable to schedule the abckup on a "personal laptop". While performing the backup procedure if the system requires for the cd from previous backups, does it overwrite old data or does it only perfoms an incremental backup? after 1 or 2 months can the 1st cd be considered obsolete?
Thank you very much for your great help!

Message was edited by: Jay Garmon
  • +
    0 Votes

    Hi, I'm a site editor and I changed the title of the post above this one. For future reference, you really need a title to get noticed and generate responses. Using shorthand like "--" won't get your very far, as no one knows what you're asking.

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    For straight backups or synchronistation of data use MS's free SyncToy, or SyncBack(SE).

    To back up your system Aconis True Image is pure gold and costs as much as 2 days of Starbuck's coffee.

    +
    0 Votes
    Fil0403

    SyncToy is a synchronization tool, not a backup tool.

    Aconis True Image may be the best thing since the wheel and cost as much as 2 days of Starbuck's coffee, but Vista backup works and costs as much as 0 days of Starbuck's coffee.

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    SyncToy is indeed a synchronization tool. It can also be used for backups of data.

    Many users are dissatified with Vista Backup:
    http://blog.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/page/windowsvista?entry=i_hate_vista_s_backup
    is one example of thousands.

    +
    0 Votes
    amj2010

    there is a wizard that tell you all what you need to know...

    +
    0 Votes
    PapaWhiskey

    I second one of the earlier posts. Vista backp is rediculous. Don't waste your time. I've been trying out Acronis TrueImage Workstation, but am having difficulty getting the scheduled backup to complete. Other than that, the Acronis product is very easy to use.

    +
    0 Votes
    Fil0403

    Vista backup may be ridiculous for those who don't know how to use it, yes. And claiming Acronis TrueImage Workstation is better is like claiming Microsoft Office is better than StarOffice. No wonder, one is free, the other one is not. You get what you pay for. Ever heard of?

    +
    0 Votes
    ermadog

    I would appreciate it if anyone could give a more detailed reply.

    First, Acronis is not a backup tool, it is an image making tool.

    In the old DOS days, when you did a backup, you backed up the visible files on the disk. The backup software did not take the iformation from the boot record, at the very beginning of the disk. You also had to unhide the system files, either using the DOS attrib command, or by using whatever feature your file manager provided for this purpose. If you then wanted to restore your OS to a new hard drive, you had to so a few thing manually that are now done by the OS installer package. In addition to partitioning and formatting the drive, you also had to make it bootable by using the DOS sys command, which would lay down the master boot record (the MBR), reserve some unused space, and set up the file allocation table (the FAT).

    I restored WINME a few times: once when the original hard drive died, and once when I destroyed a hard drive with Ranish Partitioner (I had misunderstood something in the manual).

    Not knowing what WIN does when it prepares a disk, I decided to let the installer do a clean install, then I erased all the visible files, then I backed up my system from my backup disks (I used Back4Win). I did this because I did not want to have to restore all my settings from the old OS, reinstall all my programs, and reinstall all my drivers.

    Everything worked; and I could install and uninstall other applications. However, when I tried to update Windows components from the official Windows website (DirectX 9.c), it downloaded but would not install. Also, the little "reinstaller" (the little utility that lets you uninstall or reinstall optional components from the original install disk), would no longer work.

    That won't happen with Vista, because it did not come with an install disk (at least, not for the home user). It came with a "restore disk", which has an image of the OS as it was originally installed by the technician at Future Shop. But I don't want that version, I want the one I have now because it is set up the way I want it.

    This situation leaves me with no clue as to how to restore my setup if my hard drive should die. As I understand it, an image making utility takes a snapshot of the whole drive (mine is 250 G), and then restores that whole disk.

    I want to partition my hard drive. But first, of course, I want to to a backup. As I understand it, an image taken now (of my whole 250 G) would restore the whole disk, erasing my partitions, and I would be back at square one. So, I would prefer to be able to find a good backup solution.

    Vista came with a nice resizing utility (I don't know if it is in the Home Premium version, which I have). If I am carefull with this, I would not need to do a clean reinstall; and then I would be able to take a new image of the smaller partition and use this in future catastrophes.

    Any suggestions?

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    1. Acronis True Image can be used to image a complete drive OR a single partition.

    I have C:\ (Windows and programs) and E:\ (Data) as partitions on drive 0.

    I use Acronis to image C:\

    After a restoration my data on E:\ are still intact.

    My data from E:\ are backed up to a second drive D:\ and elswhere.

    2. Acronis True Image (and probably Ghost too) is an imaging tool AND a backup tool, although I don't use it for data backups. I use SyncbackSE because it can back up open files and synchronize between two PCs or a PC and an external drive.

    Works for me :o)

    Any problems and I have a clean image restored to C:\ in 20 minutes.

    +
    0 Votes
    ermadog

    As I understand it, imaging software takes a compltes snapshot of the whole partition, and restores the whole image. My whole 250 G drive is currently set up as one whole partition, so the image would be of the whole drive, and the restore process would restore the whole drive to its current condition, destroying any partitions I may have made in the mean time. The technician at Future Shop said it would "clobber the other partitions". I have been reading this in other forums as well.

    I did have my old machine partioned as you do, and I will just take a moment to explain for the sake of the original poster (if he is still following). Once you've got your OS all tuned up the way you like it, you only need to take backups when you do major updates. If it is sitting in its own partition, you seldom need to do a defrag on it, either. The same is true of your major applications -- your old favourites that you keep around forever. This reduces the amount of maintainance needed on these two partitions.

    Most backup software these days comes with many options for incremental backups, full backups and whatever, but will not save the MBR information. Imaging software, on the other hand, is a one option deal -- the whole partition or nothing, but you need it for a full restore in the event of a hard drive failure because Windows no longer comes with a separate "sys" command.

    So, I am still a little unclear as to how to use the image. If I take an image of my OS after I get it all set up in its own partition, there is no way to do incremental backups onto the image. So, if I have to do a restore a year from now to a new hard drive, what do I do about all those patches Microsoft keeps sending out? I have dial up internet -- downloading all those patches would be a real pain in the butt. If I backup my registry regularly, and backup all my drivers, would I be able to restore these backups onto the restored image? Or would I have to manually reinstall everything?

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    I haven't done what you're proposing, so I can't be sure of the outcome.
    Acronis True Image keeps separate the images of the partition and the MBR. So you should be able to restore an image of a complete drive to a subsequently created partition. But I wouldn't bet on it.
    Acronis' or Symantec's support people would be able to tell you.
    The safest way would be to create the partitions first of course.
    As for the updates - I feel your pain!
    I'm a contributor on the Experts' Exchange and many of the ?bergeeks there maintain that SP2 is enough, anything subsequent to that is not necessary. Others won't even install SP2.

    A good firewall and up to date anti-malware should suffice.

    If you have an image (and a backup of it!) you're bullet proof.

    I don't trust incremental or differential images. I have a full image of several stages of my installation.

    This was my strategy for XP:
    http://www.mistywindow.com/pc-care/typical-xp-install.htm

  • +
    0 Votes

    Hi, I'm a site editor and I changed the title of the post above this one. For future reference, you really need a title to get noticed and generate responses. Using shorthand like "--" won't get your very far, as no one knows what you're asking.

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    For straight backups or synchronistation of data use MS's free SyncToy, or SyncBack(SE).

    To back up your system Aconis True Image is pure gold and costs as much as 2 days of Starbuck's coffee.

    +
    0 Votes
    Fil0403

    SyncToy is a synchronization tool, not a backup tool.

    Aconis True Image may be the best thing since the wheel and cost as much as 2 days of Starbuck's coffee, but Vista backup works and costs as much as 0 days of Starbuck's coffee.

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    SyncToy is indeed a synchronization tool. It can also be used for backups of data.

    Many users are dissatified with Vista Backup:
    http://blog.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/page/windowsvista?entry=i_hate_vista_s_backup
    is one example of thousands.

    +
    0 Votes
    amj2010

    there is a wizard that tell you all what you need to know...

    +
    0 Votes
    PapaWhiskey

    I second one of the earlier posts. Vista backp is rediculous. Don't waste your time. I've been trying out Acronis TrueImage Workstation, but am having difficulty getting the scheduled backup to complete. Other than that, the Acronis product is very easy to use.

    +
    0 Votes
    Fil0403

    Vista backup may be ridiculous for those who don't know how to use it, yes. And claiming Acronis TrueImage Workstation is better is like claiming Microsoft Office is better than StarOffice. No wonder, one is free, the other one is not. You get what you pay for. Ever heard of?

    +
    0 Votes
    ermadog

    I would appreciate it if anyone could give a more detailed reply.

    First, Acronis is not a backup tool, it is an image making tool.

    In the old DOS days, when you did a backup, you backed up the visible files on the disk. The backup software did not take the iformation from the boot record, at the very beginning of the disk. You also had to unhide the system files, either using the DOS attrib command, or by using whatever feature your file manager provided for this purpose. If you then wanted to restore your OS to a new hard drive, you had to so a few thing manually that are now done by the OS installer package. In addition to partitioning and formatting the drive, you also had to make it bootable by using the DOS sys command, which would lay down the master boot record (the MBR), reserve some unused space, and set up the file allocation table (the FAT).

    I restored WINME a few times: once when the original hard drive died, and once when I destroyed a hard drive with Ranish Partitioner (I had misunderstood something in the manual).

    Not knowing what WIN does when it prepares a disk, I decided to let the installer do a clean install, then I erased all the visible files, then I backed up my system from my backup disks (I used Back4Win). I did this because I did not want to have to restore all my settings from the old OS, reinstall all my programs, and reinstall all my drivers.

    Everything worked; and I could install and uninstall other applications. However, when I tried to update Windows components from the official Windows website (DirectX 9.c), it downloaded but would not install. Also, the little "reinstaller" (the little utility that lets you uninstall or reinstall optional components from the original install disk), would no longer work.

    That won't happen with Vista, because it did not come with an install disk (at least, not for the home user). It came with a "restore disk", which has an image of the OS as it was originally installed by the technician at Future Shop. But I don't want that version, I want the one I have now because it is set up the way I want it.

    This situation leaves me with no clue as to how to restore my setup if my hard drive should die. As I understand it, an image making utility takes a snapshot of the whole drive (mine is 250 G), and then restores that whole disk.

    I want to partition my hard drive. But first, of course, I want to to a backup. As I understand it, an image taken now (of my whole 250 G) would restore the whole disk, erasing my partitions, and I would be back at square one. So, I would prefer to be able to find a good backup solution.

    Vista came with a nice resizing utility (I don't know if it is in the Home Premium version, which I have). If I am carefull with this, I would not need to do a clean reinstall; and then I would be able to take a new image of the smaller partition and use this in future catastrophes.

    Any suggestions?

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    1. Acronis True Image can be used to image a complete drive OR a single partition.

    I have C:\ (Windows and programs) and E:\ (Data) as partitions on drive 0.

    I use Acronis to image C:\

    After a restoration my data on E:\ are still intact.

    My data from E:\ are backed up to a second drive D:\ and elswhere.

    2. Acronis True Image (and probably Ghost too) is an imaging tool AND a backup tool, although I don't use it for data backups. I use SyncbackSE because it can back up open files and synchronize between two PCs or a PC and an external drive.

    Works for me :o)

    Any problems and I have a clean image restored to C:\ in 20 minutes.

    +
    0 Votes
    ermadog

    As I understand it, imaging software takes a compltes snapshot of the whole partition, and restores the whole image. My whole 250 G drive is currently set up as one whole partition, so the image would be of the whole drive, and the restore process would restore the whole drive to its current condition, destroying any partitions I may have made in the mean time. The technician at Future Shop said it would "clobber the other partitions". I have been reading this in other forums as well.

    I did have my old machine partioned as you do, and I will just take a moment to explain for the sake of the original poster (if he is still following). Once you've got your OS all tuned up the way you like it, you only need to take backups when you do major updates. If it is sitting in its own partition, you seldom need to do a defrag on it, either. The same is true of your major applications -- your old favourites that you keep around forever. This reduces the amount of maintainance needed on these two partitions.

    Most backup software these days comes with many options for incremental backups, full backups and whatever, but will not save the MBR information. Imaging software, on the other hand, is a one option deal -- the whole partition or nothing, but you need it for a full restore in the event of a hard drive failure because Windows no longer comes with a separate "sys" command.

    So, I am still a little unclear as to how to use the image. If I take an image of my OS after I get it all set up in its own partition, there is no way to do incremental backups onto the image. So, if I have to do a restore a year from now to a new hard drive, what do I do about all those patches Microsoft keeps sending out? I have dial up internet -- downloading all those patches would be a real pain in the butt. If I backup my registry regularly, and backup all my drivers, would I be able to restore these backups onto the restored image? Or would I have to manually reinstall everything?

    +
    0 Votes
    Alan Henderson

    I haven't done what you're proposing, so I can't be sure of the outcome.
    Acronis True Image keeps separate the images of the partition and the MBR. So you should be able to restore an image of a complete drive to a subsequently created partition. But I wouldn't bet on it.
    Acronis' or Symantec's support people would be able to tell you.
    The safest way would be to create the partitions first of course.
    As for the updates - I feel your pain!
    I'm a contributor on the Experts' Exchange and many of the ?bergeeks there maintain that SP2 is enough, anything subsequent to that is not necessary. Others won't even install SP2.

    A good firewall and up to date anti-malware should suffice.

    If you have an image (and a backup of it!) you're bullet proof.

    I don't trust incremental or differential images. I have a full image of several stages of my installation.

    This was my strategy for XP:
    http://www.mistywindow.com/pc-care/typical-xp-install.htm